Nokia swings to a profit after selling mobile business to Microsoft

Finnish company made a net profit of 747 million euros in the third quarter, compared with a 91 million-euro loss last year

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Nokia is showing signs that it has turned around its fortunes following the sale of its ailing cellphone unit to Microsoft.

The slimmed-down Finnish company said Thursday that it made a third-quarter net profit of 747 million euros ($950 million) of the year, compared with a 91 million-euro loss in the same period last year. 

The result beat expectations and Nokia rose more than 3.6 per cent to 6.75 euros in late trading in Helsinki. The profit came despite a 1.2 billion-euro impairment charge following revaluing the Here mapping and locations services. 

CEO Rajeev Suri said he was pleased to note strong growth in Nokia's three remaining operations — networks, mapping and software. Revenue in the third quarter grew 13 per cent to 3.3 billion euros, from 2.9 billion a year earlier.

Suri said he was particularly satisfied by the performance of the key networks sector, which recorded near-record profits.

He added that the division, which accounts for 90 per cent of Nokia's total sales, is expected to record a full-year operating margin of 11 per cent, up from the earlier estimate of 5 to 10 percent. 

The company said annual expenditures for continuing operations were expected to be 250 million euros this year, up from an earlier estimate of 200 million euros. It also warned investments in technologies and patent licensing "will take time to come to fruition." 

Suri, who joined Nokia in 1995, took over as CEO in May after the completion of the $7.2 billion sale of the handset and services unit to Microsoft. 

He said the company would continue to develop its mapping and locations services, providing Here maps, which has a near 80 percent global market share, for phones using the Android operating system, as well as previously providing Samsung users with Nokia maps.